String of Terror Attacks in Southern Israel Kills Eight

Many Wounded in Fierce Fighting With Dozen Terrorists

Standing Guard: Israeli soldiers guard a border post near spot where terrorists attacked a bus and car.
Getty Images
Standing Guard: Israeli soldiers guard a border post near spot where terrorists attacked a bus and car.

By Anshel Pfeffer and Revital Levy-Stein and Yanir Yagna (Haaretz)

Published August 18, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Eight Israelis were killed and 30 more wounded during a well-planned terror attack along the Israeli-Egyptian border Thursday.

The attack was planned in the Gaza Strip by the Popular Resistance Committees and perpetrated by terrorists who crossed from Gaza into Sinai via smuggling tunnels. They then traveled some 200 kilometers to reach an area of the border protected only by a tattered wire fence, about 15 kilometers north of Eilat.

Israeli forces killed five of the terrorists, and Egyptian soldiers reportedly killed two more. But the Israel Defense Forces estimates that 15 to 20 participated in the attack, meaning most escaped.

Giving Aid: A victim of the terror attacks is carried on a stretcher to a hospital in Eilat.
Getty Images
Giving Aid: A victim of the terror attacks is carried on a stretcher to a hospital in Eilat.

IDF officials believe the goal of the attack was to kidnap a soldier. The IDF had previously responded to warnings of a planned attack, beefing up its forces in the area.

The assault began around noon, when three terrorists armed with rifles, grenades and explosives entered Israel from Egypt and stationed themselves at intervals of about 200 meters along the highway to Eilat, Route 12, at a stretch of road that runs very close to the border. At 12:30 P.M., they opened fire on an Egged Bus 392, wounding seven passengers, causing light to moderate injuries. Most of those injured were soldiers.

A few minutes later, an empty bus and several cars arrived. The terrorists opened fire again, and when the bus stopped, one of the terrorists ran up to the bus and activated his explosive belt, killing himself and the driver.

The shooting killed four occupants of one car, plus the driver of another. At that point, the first soldiers arrived in two vehicles. One vehicle ran down one of the terrorists, killing him. Soldiers in the second vehicle opened fire on the third terrorist. One soldier, Staff Sgt. Moshe Naftali of Ofra, was killed in the ensuing gun battle.

Additional police and army forces then arrived on the scene and killed the third terrorist. They also opened fire on two additional terrorists who were waiting on the Egyptian side of the border.

Assault helicopters joined the battle, and a terrorist fired a rocket-propelled grenade at one of the helicopters, but missed.

Then, at about 6:45 P.M., as senior defense officials were briefing reporters on the earlier attack, terrorists opened fire once again − this time at a Yamam force patrolling the border not far from the site of the original attack. One policeman was killed in the assault and another was wounded.

In response to the air strike, Palestinians fired two Grad rockets at Ashkelon. One landed in an open area near the city and caused no casualties or damage. The other appeared headed for a populous area of the city and was shot down by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery that had been stationed there a few days before due to an escalation in the rocket fire from Gaza.

Two other rockets were fired at Ashkelon at about 10 P.M.

For more, go to Haaretz.com






Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.